Montille complains that America is trying to impose its tastes upon France. What he doesn't mention is that before America dictated taste to the French, particularly in Bordeaux, it was the English who did it. For that information, Nossiter goes to Michael Broadbent of Christie's Auction House in London. "It used to be a British market," Broadbent says. "We were wealthy in the 18th Century, and in the 19th Century we were extremely wealthy." It's not the American winemakers imposing their tastes -- it's the American consumers. Consumers are reading Parker and trusting his scores. Consumers are demanding those oaky, flattering, early-drinking wines. (Oak is sweet and yummy, and how many people have wine cellars? We're not all English lords.) Consumers drive the market.
There, I think, is Mondovino's biggest flaw -- it doesn't talk to consumers. It hardly even talks about them. We do get a comment from Michael Broadbent on the use of consulting winemakers and the International Style: "To what extent does individuality fly out the window? I think I'd rather have an individual wine which is maybe not up to scratch rather than a wine which is made in a globally acceptable style and rather innocuous." Yes, well, Mr. Broadbent, that's just fine. I see your point. But you're a Master of Wine, an industry legend. You're hardly a typical consumer, and you know it.
In the film, Broadbent says that Rolland is making Pomerol-style wines all over the world -- that's the "globally acceptable style." Then, honest soul that he is, he grants the key point, however lamentable he may find it: "And they're selling."